Summer reads Part 4: making an impact in daily life

In this article, we have collected all the articles concerning applications of mathematical techniques in real-world problems. Enjoy!

In the firstsecond, and third part of our summer reads last week we collected some articles on the broad topic of technology and computation, interviews and personal blog posts, and algorithms and graph theory, respectively. In this last part of our summer reads, we have collected all articles discussing applications of mathematical techniques in real-world problems.

How to make sure all trains are on time?

In the Netherlands, the railways company Netherlands Railways (Nederlandse Spoorwegen, NS) relies on mathematical techniques to make the daily train schedules. In a small country where millions of people use the train on a monthly basis, this is a very challenging task. Using mathematical techniques the NS makes it possible. In this article, Maaike Vollebergh highlights some aspects of her work.


Similar in spirit to this article is the article written by Rens Kamphuis with title Why you may need to reconsider your route selection criterium. In his article, Rens explains why sometimes the route given by your navigation is not the best possible route. 

Mathematics to make sports tournamtents fairer

In their article, Roel Lambers, Rudi Pendavingh, and Frits Spieksma explain how they found a more balanced schedule for the Premier League of Darts than the one used in practice. To make such a schedule, they used a mathematical concept called the Fano-plane.

Want to read even more on similar topics? Then you can have a look at the collections Traffic Congestion or Decisions in an uncertain world.

Helping people

Around the world, tens of thousands of people are waiting to receive a kidney transplant. Read how mathematics can help more people receive one. Read this article written by Bart Smeulders on the Kidney Exchange Program and how mathematics plays an important role in it.

Quantum Impact

"Quantum computing is a rapidly-emerging technology that harnesses the laws of quantum mechanics to solve problems too complex for classical computers."                                                                       IBM Quantum

During the last decades, many resources have been invested in quantum computing. This research field has grown immensely and amazing results have been obtained. The plans for the future are highly ambitious, but at the same time, there are serious questions that need to be addressed. Who will possess these quantum computers? How will they be used in practice? How can we safely encrypt information? Many scientists are working on these questions.

Want to read more about quantum computing? Have a look at this article on the research of Yfke Dulek from the CWI on Delegated and Distributed quantum computation! Or maybe you would like to learn more about safety in a quantum internet? Then read this article written by Philip Verduyn Lunek. 

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The featured photo is by ramroh via Pixabay 

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